$ 3.6M from Irving for research on the transportation of hazardous materials
Fines of $ 3.6 million imposed on the Irving oil company following the Lac-Mégantic tragedy allow Transport Canada to launch 23 research projects on the transport of dangerous goods, which will be carried out from 2020 to 2023.
Share November 5, 2020 3h00 Share $ 3.6M from Irving for research on the transportation of hazardous materials
Jacynthe Nadeau La Tribune Fines of $ 3.6 million imposed on the Irving oil company following the Lac-Mégantic tragedy allow Transport Canada to launch 23 research projects on the transport of dangerous goods, which will be carried out from 2020 to 2023.
Of the first six projects to be implemented this year, only one directly concerns rail safety. This involves a comprehensive review of the criteria and thresholds for emergency response plans in the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations.
The announcement comes at a time when last week, a follow-up audit by the Office of the Auditor General highlighted persistent shortcomings at Transport Canada, including the fact that it had not yet established the criteria or given its approval. final to the emergency response plans of several carriers of hazardous materials such as railways.
It is these plans, it was explained, that demonstrate that companies can quickly mobilize the specialized personnel and equipment required to support first responders in the event of an accident, including firefighters.
Recall that in 2017, Irving Oil Commercial GP was forced to pay fines totaling $ 4 million after pleading guilty to 34 counts for violations of the Dangerous Goods Transportation Act listed among others in Lac-Mégantic. in the tragedy of July 6, 2013. The company was criticized for failing to classify crude oil that was destined for its refinery in Saint John as a hazardous material.
The company was ordered to pay fines totaling $ 400,320 as well as a contribution of $ 3,599,680 for the implementation of research programs in the field of the safety of the transport of dangerous goods.
Train and tank cars
Three years after this conviction, the 23 research projects selected by Transport Canada were selected from among 120 ideas emanating from a symposium that brought together, in 2019, more than 200 partners related to the transport of dangerous goods, including emergency responders. and representatives of industry and academia, read a Transport Canada press release.
The first six projects receive funding estimated at $ 900,000, says Transport Canada.
In addition to examining emergency response plans, this involves validating emergency measures for liquefied natural gas, assessing the risks of transporting hydrogen to service stations, evaluating the dangers of energy storage transported in closed ships, develop a method of risk assessment for road transport and design smart packaging for transporting lithium batteries.
“Over the next few years, research projects will be carried out on the transport of dangerous goods (TDG) by train, including the assessment of damage to tank cars, a new type of portable tank and 'emergency response', Transport Canada assured in response to questions from La Tribune on the choice of projects selected.
“To ensure the safety of Canadians, we must continue to fill the knowledge gaps that exist and that is precisely the aim of the projects announced today,” said Minister of Transport Marc Garneau. The results of these research projects will help us develop new initiatives and enhance existing ones to further strengthen the safety of our transportation system and the safety of Canadians. “
Following the 2013 tragedy, Irving also contributed $ 75 million to the victims' compensation fund.